Monday, January 21, 2013

Trail Blazer

A half a day in the life of a pint size hurricane

Oh, thanks for picking these up mom, but I needed them right here.


Above water buckets found a spot in mom and dad's room .#2


You would need a smell blog to do this one justice.

#4 shirt.   ...and found a way to reach the up high stuff.  Just push baby's crib to necessary location.


Were these folded at one time?  Only for about 5 minutes. Thanks for asking.

The "Doctors" assistant got a little carried away with her red ink pen.

"just a little rip"

The pretzels finally getting cleaned up to prolong  bed time.

Guess potty time got a little interesting.

Empty the baby's crib one more time.

Give the big bros some artwork on their bed.
Awww, sleeping angel. For sure.

Friday, October 26, 2012


   So I found this recipe thanks to my dear cousin Abby.  I'm trying to get ready for a birthday party tomorrow and when I found this recipe I thought it would be the perfect distraction for the girls to play with while the baby sleeps and I try to get something accomplished before I'm tied to the chair for another feeding session (for him or for me is irrelevent).
     One and a half cups water with a couple drops of food coloring mixed with a box of corn starch.  Even I couldn't bomb that one.  So I whipped up a batch and as I sat there mixing I tried to figure out if it was liquid or solid, which took a good while.  I'd still be sitting there trying to determine if the girls hadn't discovered I was up to something and demanded a turn. (to Abby's credit her recipe did state it was fun for adults too)
     Anyway, I did get a couple of pieces of laundry put in baskets before the baby woke up.
The girls are currently splashing in the tub being that it turned into a oobleck war with the stuff flying in all directions. 
  And the real good part is that even though the mess is still sitting right there while I sit right here and nurse my baby is that I don't even care right now.  You see, I was awaiting a Fed Ex delivery and wondering what the guy was going to think when he saw this stuff splattered everywhere, but I just saw him deliver my package to the neighbors, so he got to see THEIR mess instead!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We were CAMPinggg...

     Back in the day, I lived at the Lake Superior every summer.  I would  spend the days picking agates, rolling in the clay banks, water skiing, swimming, fishing from the bridge, biking up and down the campground road, building stone houses on the beach, and lounging around the campfire.  My hair would be blonde, my skin brown, and my bare feet would be tough as leather.
    Aww, such wonderful memories.  I guess no one could blame me for wanting to pass on the summer tradition to my children, right!?  So, a couple of years ago, I sat my husband down and told him I think it's time to start looking into campers.  He didn't really know what to figure being that camping at the lake just  meant a little longer drive time before and after work for him.  But, being the man that he is, he told me I could look around for some deals, and even took me to a few places to see what we could see.  It soon became apparent that every "deal" that wasn't snatched from under our noses, wasn't sold for a reason.          
    Finally after many misses, good 'ol craiglist found us an unbelievable deal, and we happened to be the first people that the seller called back that actually answered the phone.  So my dearest husband told the guy, "Hold it for me. If it's all that you say it is, consider it sold."  And away he drove for two hours to go look.  By the time he got there it was getting dark, so a quick overview showed everything was in good shape, the owner promised all was in working condition, so he came home tugging our new gem behind.
    Oh, the excitement that prevailed when daddy came up the driveway!  Our very own camper and with reservations already made for a week at the lake, what perfect timing!
    Bright and early the next morning, there we were, inspecting each nook and cranny and finding the overlooked flaws of the night before.  But all in all, still smiling about the deal we found.
    Getting ready for camping Lewey realized something wasn't quite right with the fridge, so we just borrowed a mini fridge from my folks to plug in at the site, and figured we'll get to fixing on it later.   While he tinkered on odds and ends in the camper, I hauled half the house into it while the kids sat around in their bathing suits with goggles perched on their heads and wondered aloud what was taking so long.  That did give me a few flashbacks to my youth when I wondered why my mother always seemed so frazzled packing up the camper.  Camping was fun!  Just pack up your suit and a towel and GO!
    Well, it was coming on suppertime by the time everything was loaded and we could head to the beach. Oh the hooting and hollering and excitement to get the show on the road!
     When we got to the campsite with tummies rumbling, we quickly picked the best spot to drop the camper, and thanks to a friendly neighbor, I didn't even have to guide him in. (My most unfavorite job right after backing him up to the hitch).  This was going swell already!
     Shortly after we plugged er in and went inside to start setting up.  First things first, the slide out needs to go out, so we can actually move around.  Hit the switch, and viola... nothing.  Hit it again just to be sure, then flip a light switch and realize there's no power. Anywhere.  The little swimmers are jumping around outside wondering when we can hit the beach, the baby (three months old with colic) is in her car seat letting know that she is DONE, Lewey has maneuvered his way to the fuse box when suddenly an obnoxious continuous alarm starts pealing through the campground.  Wherever could that be coming from?  Oh wait that's us.
     Lewey sits down on the floor with rivers of sweat running down his face and gives me a smirk.  This truly is a dream getaway. What kind of dream, we won't specify.
     Well, after a trip to find an electrician, we did get some power restored and enjoyed a dusk-ish supper.  The swimmers got to take a dip and we witnessed a sunset on the beach.
     Back to the campsite to enjoy some marshmallows.  The kids make treks non-stop in and out of the camper and you can literally see the mosquitoes being invited inside.  It's then when I face another flashback and hear mom's voice, "Keep that door shut, you'll be sleeping with all kinds of bugs tonight, no need to go traipsing in and out so many times."  Good thing I memorized that as a kid, it's coming in handy now.  No doubt it's probably used in the same tone of voice and all.
    "Mom, can I have some pop?" seems to be the most frequently asked question of the night. I think there is an unwritten rule somewhere saying you must try to consume all the special treats the first day.  So I respond after hearing the question one too many times, "go ahead have it all so there won't be any left for you to ask about."  Not until they are on their third one or so do I realize they have taken me seriously.
     Well, after all the fresh air, bedtime goes fairly smoothly, and we only have to yell 11 or 12 times to be quiet and pick a spot to sleep already and quit switching bunks.  Then all is quiet and relaxation sets in. "Hhhmmmmyyyyyyyrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" is the sound that draws me back up from oblivion and finds me smacking at my ear for no good reason.  Of course the culprit has moved on by then and so I have to turn the light on to find him and his friends.  Once I'm up, it's time to go check on the kids to be sure they aren't being picked up and hauled off by these blood sucking varmints. 
    Morning light comes quick and with it I find my husband gone off to a hard days work and four kids snuggled in with me.  At least this mattress is a tad bit bigger than the one at home albeit 15 times lumpier.  But at the same time morning light registers, so does a sound.  Rain.  Oh, what a nice sound rain makes on a camper roof.  It gives me a dreamy smile until I realize I'm stuck inside with four high strung children for the duration.  We fight, play and maneuver our way through, and though it isn't quite what we anticipated we make memories just the same.  Who woulda known how much money I can win on Deal or No Deal if we would've been at the beach?
    The next day dawns bright and sunny and we pack up all the beach gear and head on down to the water.  Just as mom and baby settle in on the beach and the other three head for the water, I feel a tickle, than a sting followed by another, than another.  Black flies. Big Black Biting Buggers.  Covered from head to toe in a little while, I convince the swimmers that we need to head back to the camper for the baby's sake (when we all really know it's for mom's sanity).
     Well, kids, there's some of the highlights of the first year with our camper.  Last year was much the same except now the baby was a rock eating machine.  And mom just sent in a check to reserve our spot for this summer.  Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From the Horse's Mouth

    Today I had the pleasure of being a horse. I was owned by two beautiful blond haired girls, one with green eyes, one with blue.  One cowgirl was all gussied up in her Sunday best and sporting two ponytail holders and three clips in her hair. The other was wearing just a shirt and diaper and only because her mom made her (same girl who saw the hair brush in mom's hand this morning and took off running screeching "Owww").
    Green eyes decided upon our names today. She is Kristy, little cowgirl is Raysta, and I, of course, am Lightening.   And so it goes...
    Now, if you are any kind of a horse at all, you know that you can't talk or laugh, only observe quietly from your place on the living room floor, excuse me, pasture, and obediently follow the will of your owners.
    Kristy is a gentle little cowgirl who is all about the details. Before her ride she lovingly puts on my green dish towel saddle and bath robe belt bridle.  She leans over into my face and says,"Let's go get the mail, girl, okay?"  Then she hops on and gently clicks with her tongue and away we go.  If she's feeling feisty she adds a "Yeeaaw" and I am supposed to go faster. 
     We get back to the barnyard after our ride and waiting there is Raysta. She is excitedly hopping around trying to figure out the best way to mount. She prefers no saddle, or reins either, a barebackin' cowgirl is she.  She finally figures out a way for her little legs to clamber on, grabs ahold of my hair and waits for the ride to begin.  A few giggles can be heard as we parade around the barnyard with Kristy leading us along.
    After the ride is the bliss of grooming. Kristy wields a brush and begins working on my mane. After she smooths it out she moves on to my back and legs speaking soothingly to me all the while and giving a little reassuring pat here and there.  At the same time Raysta is inspecting me for imperfections and when she finds one she gives it a good pinch or two.  She comes to my face and pushes wayward strands of mane to the side, puts a wet wipe on my head and gives me an impish grin.  Then, for a change of scenery, she crawls underneath me, lays on the ground staring up at me and soon there is a foot in my face and the same grin is back.
   By this time Kristy has decided it is bed time and brings me to the stall, locks me in and heads for her home.  Raysta, obviously a night owl, figures no such thing and breaks me back out and takes me on a midnight run. When we get back to the stall, instead of heading home, she stays on my back and lays there until it's morning time when the cycle begins again.
   Being a well loved horse is a wonderful opportunity. I am thankful it's another thing that fits in my job description, and that it ranks higher than things like vacuuming and toilet scrubbing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ol Buppa

      Just over four months ago, my husbands father passed from this life to eternal glory, leaving behind only the memories for us to treasure. 
      He was a quite a guy,  intimidating to some, but not so to those grandchildren of his who saw beneath that tough trucker and Harley dude exterior to the softie hidden underneath.  When we would travel there, or they here for a visit, he would love to tease the boys mercilessly about their animals, and if they have been remembering to milk the chickens or collect the eggs from the dogs.  They would laugh and try to "correct" him, which of course would only cause Buppa to jumble it up some more.  This will probably be one of their favorite memories of him, as it seems to be foremost in their minds.  They were given the opportunity to write messages on his casket and both of them gave him some rather odd directions as to what he should do for the animals in heaven.
     But one of my favorite memories was when my oldest was almost four and he and Buppa were busy having a conversation when he piped up and asked, "How come you don't have any hair?"
   Buppa didn't miss a beat before he replied, "Because Meme' has pulled it all out!"
    We all got a good laugh out of that, and thought the subject was over,  but a day or so later, we were sitting in church a row or two behind Meme' and Buppa when my son  came and whispered in my ear,  "Did Meme' REALLY pull out Buppa's hair?"
    It's hard not to question the Lord and his motives when I think of how little time my children had to get to know him.  But I thank him for the memories.  Every time I pull out the waffle maker they gave us one Christmas, my mind brings back his voice calling through the house, "Who wants a WIFFLE?", and I wonder if the kids think of it too.   ... Or if the Hubby ever lets loose a window rattling snore I just have to chuckle and think  of it as another thing he had the pleasure of inheriting from his "Pops".
     Time marches on, and I know that the memories will grow dimmer as life continues to roll, but the one thing I hope they will cherish and remember are those last days when he would send his "I love you guys" messages across the miles,  and his excitement of where he knew he was going.  He had his eyes upon Jesus.  
  Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weight of the Matter

  The other morning I was making an attempt to enjoy some breakfast with my two daughters.  Every time my can came close to hitting the chair I would notice there was something I'd forgotten to bring to the table or my three year old would pipe up.  "Mom, I wanted juice, not milk,  mom, I wanted a sippy cup not a regular, mom I wanted pink not green , mom, I need a fork AND a spoon."  Ready to blow, but smart enough not to tell her to do it herself, which would tack on another fifteen minutes,  I began to wonder how we moms manage to struggle with weight issues when we can't even sit down to a meal.   Add the rest of the family in at dinnertime to make it an official circus.
    But somehow, along the way, my plate gets cleared.  Not only the first serving, but the second. Maybe not nice and toasty warm as is the preferred method of consumption, but definitely edible to a not so fussy palate. 
    Then, the family wanders away from the table and I glance at the plates left behind, ready to call each child back to clear their spots.  But I notice that some of those plates have the best stuff left behind, and that should not be wasted on chicken food.  So out comes my fork, and  I begin spearing a little of this and a dab of that and shoveling it in, until all plates are cleared to my satisfaction .
    Huffing a sigh at the thought of clean up waiting in the kitchen, I get to my feet and wander there to take a peek at what is left over.  One dish reveals a salad that would surely go soggy if stored overnight, so I grab the serving spoon and polish it off.  After all, have you SEEN the prices at the grocery store? No sense in wasting.  The next pot is showing only a couple spoonfuls left, so it doesn't pay to take the time to put it in a storage container. Down the hatch is much more convenient.  And on and on it goes.
     In between my cleaning up , I feel the need to sneak in something sweet, and I know there just happens to be a bag of m&m's in the baking cupboard.  For baking purposes only, but a couple handfuls gone missing won't be noticed.  Until the same hand hits the bottom of the bag. Oh well,  chocolate chips will work just as good.
     Finally, all the dishes are cleared up and washed up.  That calls for a coffee break.  The cake left over from the "just in case there is company" baking would be just the thing to go with a good cup of decaf.
    So I take my coffee and cake with just a "couple" scoops of ice cream and go sit down next to my dear sweet husband, and ask him the question that has been burning in my mind all day, "Honey, why can't I seem to lose any weight??"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gum Flapping

    My baby is now eleven months old, and besides screeching rather loudly and giving her version of  "all done" on occasion, her interest in vocabulary is minimal.  She is way too busy filling her mouth with flies and toilet paper.  A deficiency, perhaps?  Or just practicing making a quality spit wad, I don't know.
    But one thing I am just about certain about.   When her mouth opens with words flowing from it, my aspiring singing career will once again be put on the shelf.  I love to sing.  I have inherited my paternal grandmothers singing gene.  My grandfather, who was one of the sweeter, more subtle guys, was the one who broke it to his wife, when one day after church he told her,"Maybe you shouldn't sing."
    Anyway, back to my point.  When my previous babies had been learning to talk,  I was spending a lot of time blissfully rocking them and singing quite contentedly right in their ears.  Like a dose of cold water, there came the day with each of them, when they  reached up, put their sweet little hands over my mouth, and gave instruction.  "Stop."
     Yep, words are harsh, but you also do learn some interesting things once those little educators start telling you how it is.  The explanations given for actions are sometimes quite priceless.
      When my boys were about three and two, I received many  of those explanations.   After one particular trying evening, I had just gotten the little guy to sleep for what I had hoped was the night.  I told his big brother, "Mom is going to jump in the shower.  If you need anything, dad is right outside. 
     Well, I had enough time to get the shower on and the temp set just right before I heard knocking on the door.  I opened it to find not one, but two little boys standing there looking at me.
   "I don't know what happened, but I think all the loud roaring noises from the North Pole woke him up."  Good one, and good-bye shower.
      Then one day, they had been playing upstairs and when I decided to go check on them, the sight that greeted me probably didn't do good things to the blood pressure.    The humidifier was taken apart and water was puddling all over the hallway.  I could feel a gasket about to blow and wasn't even about to ask for an explanation on this one.  Big brother decided to give one anyway.  "We were baptizing."
    Around the corner comes little brother dripping wet.  How can you even yell at that?
    When my husbands heifer gave birth to her first calf, my eldest who was about six at the time, was the first who found it and went to check it out.  He came back in the house and informed me, "It's a bull."
   "Oh, really?  And how do you know that?"
    " Because it has curly hair on its forehead."  I guess it was no surprise to me when my husband came home and announced the new calf was a bull.
      There have been times when explanations have been strangely silent or missing completely.  This comes with "faulty" memories of otherwise intelligent children.
      The weather had been growing colder for some time when we decided to break down and finally order some oil for the winter.  The oil man happily took our check and went on his way.  The hubby turned on all the necessary gizmos and gadgets while I waited upstairs to feel the first blast of blessed heat coming into the place.  Strangely, nothing happened so I finally went down to see what the hold up was.  He was sitting beside the furnace with a puzzled look on his face and said, "Man, it almost seems like there is water mixed in this stuff.   After several hours of tinkering and draining chalky white gunk, he decided to go find his sons.  They, of course had no idea how vast amounts of water could have ever found its way into the oil tank.  Little by little, bits and pieces of memory came back.  "Maybe" they were playing with the hose in the summer.  "Maybe" they might have played oil man with the hose.  "Maybe" was the word of the day, with details remaining rather sketchy.
   When little sister came along, I figured girls would be a different story, but she too has given some rather "reasonable" explanations for her actions.  Like crawling into mom and dads bed two minutes after lights out because she "had a scary dream."  Nothing fishy with that one, like maybe you should actually fall asleep before you claim these grand dreams.  And she suddenly decided she can no longer eat cheerios "because them have holes in 'em."  Like someone pointed out to me, doughnuts have holes too, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with that.  Definitely "holes" popping up in that info, little darling.
  Yep, lot's of lip smacking, eyelash fluttering, and "becausing" from the girl section too. Another year or two of them putting their heads together might bring some stressful moments to this house, but I'm hoping more for comic relief. And so help me if they turn out to be self baptizing oil men farmers who hear noises from the Northpole.